Our History


Early Beginnings

The two met on Saratoga’s backside and discovered that they shared a mutual love for horses and the thoroughbred business. Anne exercised Joe’s first race horse, and the filly won her first race shortly after their wedding.
Their marriage and the broodmare band began not long after with the purchase of a couple of mares at the Horses of Racing Age sale held at Fasig Tipton’s Saratoga pavilion. One of these was Countess Camden. We called her “The Black Mare” and in 1971 she gave the young couple their first colt. By local stallion Backbiter the colt was named Cider Hill and became a winner of $18,764.
The majority of the land had been in Christmas trees, which were sold off over the years and gradually the land was cleared. The barns needed big improvements and gradually horses were becoming the couple’s full time occupation. Neighboring farmer, Joe Stetkar, an immigrant from Bohemia from the early 1900’s, farmed the land up the hill. He taught the young family how to farm and became a namesake for many of the farms’ early horses. He always enjoyed watching the youngsters train on the dirt lane leading up to his property, and he would remark, ” you can tell your horses get plenty to eat. You could set a pan of oats across their hips and it would stay there.”
While the foals of Countess Camden won, they were not spectacular. It was a daughter of the old Black Mare named Hot Spiced Cider who gave McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds it’s first stakes horse. Foaled in 1978, the colt named Knightly Spiced would place in stakes at two and three and earn $140,000.00.


The Growth

In 1990 a stakes placed filly to be named State Street Dori would be born. A daughter of NY leading sire Cormorant, the filly would be a winner and stakes placed at two. The following year things really started to click. From 1991’s crop of 10 foals, there were 6 winners, three who earned over $100,000.
1991 brought Slew the Knight to the Breeding Shed. A grade 2 winning son of the great Seattle Slew, “Slewy” got off to a nice start. From his first six foals born at the farm there were five winners.
McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds was rapidly growing and in 1994, 140 acres of the nearby Dodd Farm was purchased. The old Dodd farm is located near Saratoga Battlefield, a National park where the turning point battle of the American Revolution was fought and won. Although it would be primarily used for crops over the next five years, there was in existance one 18 stall barn and twenty fenced acres. A needed expansion to stall space!
1993’s foal crop was a very good one. First our very nice mare Raise The Bridge produced a Rahy filly who would be named Lasha. Lasha stakes placed at two and three and and won over $100,000.00.
But more importantly, the foal crop of 1993 brought our next Grade 1 horse, Instant Friendship. Bred by a retired New York City policeman, Jack Kennedy, the colt earned $708,000 and ran second in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup before being sold to Saudi Arabia. Racing in the King of Saudi Arabia’s colors, Instant Friendship would win the King’s Cup in back to back years.
Instant Friendship was important for another reason. He was selected by Tony Everard and conditioned by Leo O’Brien, the same team that broke and trained Fourstardave and Fourstar All Star for New Yorker Richard Bomze. To say that the McMahon’s and Everard’s had an “Instant Friendship” would be an understatement.
1994’s crop produced Whitfield the best Slew The Knight colt we bred. Whitfield was purchased and trained by Linda Rice. He won at two and won a stake for total earnings of almost $100,000.00.
In 1995 a small filly by Cure The Blues was born. Out of the hard knocking runner Aljadam, this filly was probably the best ever bred by her breeders Herb and Sheila Sherry. She became NY Bred Champ Pentatonic and earned just over $600,000.00 – mostly as an older mare! Pentatonic won or placed in eight stakes including a second place finish in the Grade 1 Hempstead! What a mare!
1996’s yearling consignment included Richie’s Girl a filly that would earn over $166,000.00 and place in Saratoga’s Yaddo Stakes.
1997 produced two nice fillies, The Great Flora and Yankee Tradition. The Great Flora placed in the Bouwerie for Cot Campbell’s Dogwood Stables and Todd Pletcher earning over $100,000.00. Meanwhile Yankee Tradition won the Schenectady Stakes and earned almost $100,000.00.
1998 produced Astrapi a very good daughter of NY Sire Distinctive Pro. Astrapi won the listed Valley Stream Stakes as a two year old as well as the East View earning $155,000.00. 1998’s crop also produced our first colt to go to stud. Named Whitmore’s Con, this son of Kris S. would win graded stakes at 3, 4 and 5 racing for Randy Schulhoffer. He currently stands at stud in Ireland.
1999’s big horse is no doubtedly Dynamic Lisa who ran third in the Ticonderoga before winning the Yaddo as an older mare. She runs for our friends and good clients the Schwartz’s and is trained by their son Scott Schwartz.


New Millennium

Nothing could prepare us for 2000’s foal crop. First and foremost there was Funny Cide – the Grade 1 KENTUCKY DERBY and PREAKNESS winner at 3 and Eclipse Award winner. He came as close as you can to taking the Triple Crown and along the way won the hearts of American sports fans.
He was not the only stakes winner born in 2000 at McMahon Thoroughbreds though. The winner of the Grade 2 Peter Pan Go Rockin Robin had a big year for the Schwartz family. Sensibly Chic would take the Broadway and Stefanita.
The foal crop of 2001 produced four stakes winners including Rodeo Licious, Chowder’s First, So Sweet A Cat and the French stakes winner and multiple US stakes placed Kate Winslet.
They say it takes farmers years to get the most out of their land. It took Joe and Anne at least 15 years to begin producing a solid consistent product, the New York Bred race horse. As Joe says, “we ate a lot of zucchini and chicken” in the meantime.
Today the main farm on Fitch Road is joined by the properties on Dodd Road, now named Meadow View Farm, East View Farm, and the Yearling Farm.
Joe and Anne with FUNNY CIDE’s jockey Jose Santos Most members of the family are involved in some facet or another. John with farm management, Mike does matings and bloodstock management from Kentucky and travels to sales across the US to represent farm clients, daughter Kate is also involved with consulting and planning matings for the family business, daughter Jane is in the farm management, and daughter Tara is always on call.
Joe and Anne look over the whole operation. It’s probably hard to believe that a foal crop of one in 1971, now numbers in the hundreds, but it does. The stallion barn, once a novelty item on a New York farm, stands three of the strongest stallions to stand in the United States outside of Kentucky, and several of the most promising. Only the future will tell.


Continued Growth

In 2015, McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds welcomed Central Banker, who has gone on to become the Empire State’s leading stallion in progeny earnings each year since 2021. Central Banker has produced multiple New York-bred champions, including McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds’ bred and co-owned Bank Sting who was named New York’s Champion Older Dirt Female and Champion Female Sprinter in 2021-22. Bankit – Central Banker’s all-time leading money earner – was crowned New York’s 2021 Champion Older Dirt Male.

A New Age

Solomini provided McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds’ stallion roster with a major boost when joining the team in 2020. He is currently the only son of prolific stallion and emerging sire-of-sires Curlin to stand in New York, and has already made a big splash in only his first crop as the co-leading overall freshman stallion in black type winners. December 16, 2023 was a banner day for the young sire when his My Shea D Lady captured the NYSSS Fifth Avenue at Aqueduct Racetrack before Wynstock earned graded glory in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) at its namesake track.